No Reprieve To Be Found – How Video Games Deal With Grief

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No Reprieve To Be Found – How Video Games Deal With Grief

Heads up: This piece includes spoilers for the last episode of the Michonne miniseries, Max Payne 3, and That Dragon, Cancer.

There’s no moment quite like when you experience grief for the first time. I’ve had friends tell me it’s come upon them violently, heartrending outbursts of agony in grocery stores and theaters immediately after finding out who or what they’d lost: parents, jobs, relationships, pets. For me, it was a slow process, like mist creeping under a door and filling a room. I was in a new city a thousand miles away from home. I had sacrificed precious things for a job I wanted, given up one life for another, and news kept reaching me in texts and across social networks reminding me of that. Close friends were getting married. A grandfather I loved died and I couldn’t make it home to be with my family during the funeral. It all built up over a period of a few months before I finally unraveled in the hallway of my apartment complex, sobbing and chuckling and red-faced and unable to make myself stop for about an hour.

Test Chamber – Metroid Prime: Federation Force

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Now that Metroid Prime: Federation Force finally has a release date, we're starting to see and hear more about the game. The cooperative shooter allows you to team up with three other friends and shoot baddies as a marine of the Galactic Federation.

We recently saw the game in action, and this episode of Test Chamber features one of the early missions. Watch the video below to see editor Brian Shea and I discuss this different direction for the series, the various missions you take on, and if shooting baddies using the gyroscope to aim is all that fun. This is your chance to get an early look and see what you think. 

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Test Chamber – See Kirby's Robotic Future In Action

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Kirby is back for another fun and dangerous adventure in Kirby: Planet Robobot. This time our favorite pink puff has some more power, thanks to his robobot armor that functions like a mech. We discussed how he's more powerful in our latest preview, but now you can see some of the experience for yourself.

On this episode of Test Chamber, editor Brian Shea joined me to watch some of my playthrough and discuss what's in store for Kirby this time around. We show off Kirby's new doctor power, some cool levels, and the Amiibo functionality. Of course, we also get behind the mech. You really don't want to mess with Kirby when he's in it. See for yourself in the video below. 

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An Inside Look At Modernizing The Art Of Final Fantasy

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With our trip to Square Enix in Tokyo for our extensive cover story on Final Fantasy XV, we were lucky enough to speak with several long-time developers that have worked on the beloved series. Yusuke Naora has been an artist on the team since Final Fantasy VI, going on to contribute background art for things like Midgar and the Northern Crater in Final Fantasy VII. Naora is one of three art directors on Final Fantasy XV, and one of his early tasks on the project was to update the look of the characters from their incarnation in Final Fantasy Versus XIII. We spoke with Naora about what it was like to be amongst the team developing classics like Final Fantasy VI and the three guiding themes for updating the characters in Final Fantasy XV.

Watch the video below to learn more about Yusuke Naora's work on the art of Final Fantasy.

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Test Chamber – Exploring Valve's Premiere VR Experience: The Lab

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Test Chamber – Exploring Valve's Premiere VR Experience: The Lab

After weeks familiarizing ourselves with the new technology, we rolled out a bevy of VR reviews last Friday, including hardware evaluations of both the Oculus Rift and HTC Vive. Among our reviews is a look at The Lab, a collection of VR experiences built to showcase the potential of the HTC Vive. Andrew Reiner had yet to try out the magic of room-scale VR, so he and I entered the virtual world to take a tour through Valve’s charming simulation.

In our first-ever Vive Test Chamber video, we take a look at everything from shooting a bow and arrow to visiting DotA’s Secrets Shop (we were unable to capture the Robot Repair mini game, much to our dismay). Within the video, you’ll be able to see both the visuals from the game, along with a filmed view of Reiner’s movements. Enjoy!

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Test Chamber – Performing Like A Pop Star In Tokyo Mirage Sessions #FE

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Test Chamber – Performing Like A Pop Star In Tokyo Mirage Sessions #FE

Recently, we got hands-on Tokyo Mirage Sessions #FE, so we could discuss our biggest takeaways. However, we're not done. We also wanted to give you the chance to see the game in action.

Editor Javy Gwaltney joined me to watch some of my gameplay footage and chat more about the game. This Shin Megami Tensei and Fire Emblem crossover is all kinds of zany, so we just had to show off some of the crazy enemies, cutscenes, and dungeons. Get ready for a performance. 

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Chronicles – Watch Episode Sixteen Of Our Dark Souls III Death March

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Chronicles – Watch Episode Sixteen Of Our Dark Souls III Death March

The Dark Souls franchise continues with a powerful third entry into the world of dark, demanding fantasy action. Join Daniel Tack, Andrew Reiner, Kyle Hilliard, and Javy Gwaltney in an epic game of "pass the sticks" as they attempt to conquer fantastic environments and towering bosses in From Software's latest ashen wasteland. Be aware that there may be spoilers as we move from episode to episode.

Will the crew finish? Will they smash controllers in frustration? Or will the team find new strength and resolve to persevere in the face of relentless and uncaring foes? Will the team go the extra mile and complete the game or go hollow as they bash against the endless tides of freakish minions? Find out on Chronicles: Dark Souls III edition.

Check out our review of Dark Souls III here.

The Stand-Out Indies Of PAX East 2016 [Day Three]

about X hours ago from
The Stand-Out Indies Of PAX East 2016 [Day Three]

PAX continues to be fertile ground for up and coming indie games. We've spent a good part of the weekend wandering through the Indie Megabooth, checking out the diamonds in the rough tucked away in odd corners, and poking around bigger booths showcasing smaller games.

We'll be bringing you the indie titles that stand out to us as games you should keep your eye on (or run out and get now). Check back with us throughout the weekend as we add more to this roster of gems.

Tokyo 42Developer: Smac GamesPlatform: PC
Release Window: Early 2017

The Stand-Out Indies Of PAX East 2016 [Day Two]

about X hours ago from
The Stand-Out Indies Of PAX East 2016 [Day Two]

PAX continues to be fertile ground for up and coming indie games. We've spent a good part of the weekend wandering through the Indie Megabooth, checking out the diamonds in the rough tucked away in odd corners, and poking around bigger booths showcasing smaller games.

We'll be bringing you the indie titles that stand out to us as games you should keep your eye on (or run out and get now). Check back with us throughout the weekend as we add more to this roster of gems.

Tokyo 42Developer: Smac GamesPlatform: PC
Release Window: Early 2017

The Stand-Out Indies Of PAX East 2016

about X hours ago from
The Stand-Out Indies Of PAX East 2016

PAX continues to be fertile ground for up and coming indie games. We've spent a good part of the weekend wandering through the Indie Megabooth, checking out the diamonds in the rough tucked away in odd corners, and poking around bigger booths showcasing smaller games.

We'll be bringing you the indie titles that stand out to us as games you should keep your eye on (or run out and get now). Check back with us throughout the weekend as we add more to this roster of gems.

MetronomiconDeveloper: PuubaPlatform: PC
Release Window: Holiday 2016